Marcelo Bielsa was up to his old tricks in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday when he revealed what his Leeds United starting line-up would be for the game against West Ham on Friday night. 

And Gary Lineker loved it.

With Robin Koch and Diego Llorente both ruled out, one reporter asked who would be playing in central defence alongside Liam Cooper.

Bielsa said it could be Kalvin Phillips or Luke Ayling.

The reporter then asked if he was going to keep West Ham guessing and Bielsa named his starting XI for the game.

The team that Bielsa will put out on Friday night is: Meslier, Alioski, Ayling, Cooper, Dallas, Phillips, Harrison, Klich, Rodrigo, Raphinha and Bamford.

Gary Lineker responded with two ‘laughing out loud’ and two ‘clapping’ emojis.

Bielsa is unique

This might have caused astonishment among the Premier League elite but Bielsa has done this a lot before.

He split the Leeds fans last season when he regularly named his Championship starting XI in his pre-match press conference each week.

Some loved it and some hated it, thinking that it gave the opposition too much information.

Actually, predicting the Leeds starting XI is generally one of the easier jobs in the football world.

The injuries to Llorente and Koch meant there was a question of whether Pascal Struijk might come in, but he’s decided to bring Rodrigo in and shuffle the backline.

We’re almost 100% sure that Kalvin Phillips will play in the holding midfield role and the backline will be: Alioski (left-back), Cooper/Ayling (centre-backs) and Dallas (right-back).

It doesn’t make sense to move Phillips back and find someone else to play the holding midfield role.

And, while the backline is weaker than normal, the attack looks absolutely thrilling.

In other Leeds United news, Bielsa confirms massive new injury as Leeds hit crisis ahead of West Ham clash


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